| Southwest Times |
WMS students will head to world competition

One of the teams for West Middle School's Odyssey of the Mind received first in the State Odyssey of the Mind Competition on March 27, at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., and are now preparing for the world competition in East Lansing, Mich.

The Odyssey of the Mind competitions, often called OotM, provide students with a long-term problem that must be solved using their creativity. Students are faced with writing an 8-minute skit and creatively building any props and/or mechanical devices that will be used. OotM competitions range from kindergarten to collegiate levels.

The WMS students' first place performance called, "Nature Trail'r" has a total of seven members on the team, and was organized in late October. Members of the team include McKenzie Wright, Blake Brenneman, Kim Francis, Anthony Courkamp, Madison Martinez, Rosie Chavez, Holden Fitzgerald, and coach, Mindy Brunkhardt.

The team's challenge included constructing a human-powered vehicle and camper, where the driver encounters four obstacles on a nature trail: an animal, a roadblock, a vehicle breakdown, and an environmental beautification.

One of West Middle School's Odyssey of the Mind team dressed as the characters from their skit which received first place at state competition. The team members, from left to right, Holden Fitzgerald (British Paparazzi), Kim Francis (Rock Star Paparazzi), Rosie Chavez (Paparazzi Spy), Blake Brenneman (Coffee Fanatic), Madison Martinez (Black-Market Saleswoman), Anthony Courkamp (Coffee Fanatic's Assistant), and McKenzie Wright (Ostrich). Photo submitted

The team met on evenings and weekends, often working five hours at a time, just to find a solution for their pre-described problem. Over the course of the project the students practiced, rehearsed, found problems, argued, and then would compromise with one another to figure out solutions.

After months of meeting and practice, they constructed the vehicle and camper, wrote, produced, rehearsed, and eventually performed their 8-minute skit, at the regional OotM competition in Holcomb, Kan., which took them to the OotM state competition at KSU.

The team's performance in the state competition earned them an invitation to attend the World Finals OotM Competition which will be held from May 26 to 28 at Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Mich

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